Honda's Trey Canard snagged his first ever victory in the premier class after just six rounds into his debut season.
The 2011 Monster Energy AMA Supercross
Championship throttled into Houston’s Reliant Stadium with Factory Honda
’s Trey Canard
taking his first ever victory in the premier class over Rockstar
’s Ryan Dungey
and Monster Energy Kawasaki
’s Ryan Villopoto. Meanwhile the Supercross Lites class featured its debut bout for East Coast riders as Geico Powersports Honda’s Justin Barcia
landed his first win of 2011 ahead of Monster Pro Circuit Kawasaki’s Dean Wilson
and Blake Baggett
Round 6 of the series was an event to remember as veteran rider Kevin Windham snagged the holeshot following a crash in the first turn by San Manuel Yamaha’s James Stewart
and TwoTwo Motorsports’ Chad Reed
. Yamaha’s Davi Millsaps and Suzuki’s Brett Metcalfe
took up second and third, respectively, with Canard and Dungey pressuring from behind. In addition to Stewart and Reed having a rocky start, Villopoto was also hindered by a slow charge out of the gate, and on Lap 4 all three riders were outside the top-10.
San Manuel Yamaha's James Stewart had a difficult night in Houston where he finished 15th and dropped to second in the championship.
There was position swapping all over the track as Canard and Dungey advanced ahead of Metcalfe, and Red Bull KTM
’s Andrew Short jumped up to sixth. Meanwhile K-Dub continued to hold down the fort up front as JS7 and Villopoto knocked-off a few riders further back. On Lap 8 RV managed to move into eighth after a fall by Stewart’s San Manuel teammate, Kyle Regal, opened up a spot. All the while Canard continued to lay-down one of his best performances to date by positioning himself into second behind Windham. As Reed made up significant ground following his crash, Stewart on the other hand suffered another fall that dropped him back again.
With less than five laps remaining Windham went over the handlebars hard in the rhythm section. The mistake gave Canard the lead, but he would have to work to maintain it as Dungey provided consistent pressure in the remaining laps. The battle went down to the final turn as Canard barely nosed ahead of Dungey across the finish line jump.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Canard. “It was an awesome race. I just tried to hang in there, because it was a tricky track. I made a mistake and (Ryan) Dungey gained a lot of time on me and from there I was just riding defensive. We had a bit of a rough week this week, but this makes it all better.”
RV proved that no start was too difficult to overcome by climbing all the way up to third to earn his fifth podium finish this season. The points were enough to take over the season championship and he now leads Stewart by nine points. Just missing the podium in fourth was Millsaps, who defended Metcalfe’s eager advances until the final lap. Remarkably, Millsaps posted the fastest lap in Houston, outpacing usual frontrunners Stewart and Villopoto. Short rounded out the top-five finishers for the evening, improving KTM’s best finish in the premier class. Ken Roczen also had a ride worth noting as the KTM rider took seventh during his first ever ride in the premier class.
2011 AMA Supercross Houston Results:
1. Trey Canard (Honda)
2. Ryan Dungey (Suzuki)
3. Ryan Villopoto (Kawasaki)
RV overcame trying circumstances in the main to finish on the podium behind Trey Canard and Ryan Dungey.
4. Davi Millsaps (Yamaha)
5. Andrew Short (KTM)
6. Chad Reed (Honda)
7. Ken Roczen (KTM)
8. Brett Metcalfe (Suzuki)
9. Ivan Tedesco (Kawasaki)
10. Mike Alessi (KTM)
11. Thomas Hahn (Yamaha)
12. Nick Wey (Yamaha)
13. Justin Brayton (Yamaha)
14. Weston Peick (Yamaha)
15. James Stewart (Yamaha)
2011 AMA Supercross Championship Points:
1. Ryan Villopoto, 132
2. James Stewart, 123
3. Trey Canard, 112
4. Chad Reed, 105
5. Ryan Dungey, 101
6. Andrew Short, 80
7. Brett Metcalfe, 80
8. Justin Brayton, 65
9. Davi Millsaps, 62
10. Kevin Windham, 61
Honda's Justin Barcia nailed the first East Coast victory of the season in Houston ahead of Dean Wilson and Blake Baggett.
In the debut ride for the East Coast Lites series, Suzuki’s Malcolm Stewart grabbed the holeshot, but it was short-lived as he crashed and dropped outside the top-15. Wilson quickly took over the lead with Barcia right on his rear wheel. It was an exciting beginning with Wilson and Barcia trading the lead back and forth on multiple occasions before Barcia made his move stick. Wilson was closely followed by Geico Honda’s Blake Wharton and Yamaha’s Ryan Sipes as Kawasaki’s Blake Baggett sought to overcome a mediocre start back in ninth. Wharton and Sipes participated in a major battle for third that ultimately ended with both riders in the dirt due to a questionable pass by Sipes. After making progress through the field, the crashes of Sipes and Wharton allowed Baggett to sneak into third.
In the end Barcia claimed the first victory in the East Coast division after a tight battle with Wilson. After crashing, Sipes was able to quickly recover to finish fourth behind Baggett, with Suzuki’s Ian Trettel posting a top-five finish in fifth. Stewart proved he has his work cut out for him this season after taking 18th in his debut ride.
“That’s racing right there,” said Barcia. “If we didn’t put on a show, then I don’t know what will. We had a great race out there. I’m just so thankful for my whole team. Going that fast, that hard and that intense for 15 laps was crazy, but that’s what I’ve been training for.”
2011 AMA Supercross Lites Houston Results:
1. Justin Barcia (Honda)
2. Dean Wilson (Kawasaki)
3. Blake Baggett (Kawasaki)
4. Ryan Sipes (Yamaha)
5. Ian Trettel (Suzuki)
Kawasaki's Dean Wilson had a spirited fight for the lead and finished second at Houston's Reliant Stadium.
6. Blake Wharton (Honda)
7. Jason Anderson (Suzuki)
8. Lance Vincent (Honda)
9. Matthew Lemoine (Kawasaki)
10. Alex Martin (Honda)
11. Christopher Gosselaar (Suzuki)
12. Shawn Rife (Honda)
13. Gannon Audette (Yamaha)
14. Malcolm Stewart (Suzuki)
15. Nico Izzi (Honda)
2011 AMA Supercross Lites Championship Points:
1. Justin Barcia, 25
2. Dean Wilson, 22
3. Blake Baggett, 20
4. Ryan Sipes, 18
5. Ian Trettel, 16
6. Blake Wharton, 15
7. Jason Anderson, 14
8. Lance Vincent, 13
9. Matthew Lemoine, 12
10. Alex Martin, 11